Eating Right in Monsoons: An Ayurvedic Background
According to Ayurveda, our body responds differently to each season. This reaction is in the form of an imbalance in the doshas. The formation and type of disease that affects the body is dependent on the vitiation and degree of the particular dosha. In fact, the knowledge of the seasons and its impact on the human body is something that is taken into consideration by Ayurvedic practitioners and doctors.
Did you know that as per Ayurveda, there are 6 seasons in total, and not 3 or 4 as is well-recognized in the modern world? Not many have the knowledge or understanding of the 6 season classification. It is because of this detailed classification that Ayurveda succeeds so well in diagnosing and understanding a person’s condition.
The classification of seasons in Ayurveda depends on a number of things like the position of the sun and the moon, the wind, and other factors. The change in the balance of these elements is directly connected to the changes in the dosha balance in the human body. One thing to remember is that, even the continuous change in seasons, helps to impart balance to our dishes. It is the bad habits in our diet and lifestyle, that are the culprits during disease formation. With the proper knowledge on seasonal imbalance and dosha balance, a good doctor can also predict the diseases that will happen to the individual, based on their current diet and lifestyle.
Following is the classification of the seasons w.r.t the months in a year:-
- Shishira – Late Winter – mid-January to mid-March
- Vasanta – Spring – mid-March to mid-May
- Grishma – Summer – mid-May to mid-July
- Varsha – Rainy season – mid-July to mid-September
- Sharad – Autumn – mid-September to mid-November
- Hemanta – Early Winter – mid-November to mid-January
With the right knowledge, an individual can tailor his eating habits to the qualities of this season. Indeed, Ayurveda emphasizes heavily on qualities. A number of Ayurvedic principles are dependent on the combination and quality of the 5 elements, 6 seasons, 3 doshas, 6 tastes, etc. Therefore, one should ensure that their source of Ayurvedic information is from a qualified practitioner/institution like Ayushakti.
Following are some guidelines that can help individuals take care of their health in this season of rains:-
- Avoid dairy products:Dairy products are often heavy to digest. Drinking cold milk and other products is to be highly avoided. It is tempting to grab a pack of flavored chilled milk and other similar products that are available in stores and supermarket shelves these days. However, Ayurveda has its own guidelines on how milk should be consumed an it is best that you consider talking to an Ayurvedic professional so as to adopt the right practices in your diet.
- Avoid wheat: Wheat is food that is heavy to digest. It is to be avoided, along with dairy, which is heavy as well. Basically, any type of food that is heavy is to be avoided. During the season of rains, the digestion power decreases. Therefore, incorporating light and healthy food choices would be the best way to stay healthy. After all, digestion is key to good health.
- Go for hot foods:Food that is hot and steamy, like soups or a well-steamed dish is excellent for your monsoon food choices. Meals like these are pretty easy to digest and don’t produce mucous in the body.
Sip warm ginger water 3-4 glasses or as much as possible during monsoon to keep up the digestion and prevent you from common cold, cough, fever and sinus.